Bachmann’s success in defying the upward DFL-trend in her district can also perhaps partially be attributed to the ‘Ted Stevens Media Backlash Effect.’ Once upon a time, just shy of Election Day, public opinion polls showed the vast majority of Alaskans were not of the mind to reelect GOPer Stevens (or at-large Republican Representative Don Young). Until, that is, the national media told them how they were going to vote (or should vote).I've had many Bachmann discussions with political friends across the 6th. Most of us are of the belief that Bachmann may in fact be the best politician/campaigner in Minnesota (we also agree that she is the worst elected official in the state).
Likewise, the anti-Bachmann media blitz that permeated the Twin Cities metro area and the national stage in the few weeks leading up to the election became to be seen, to some voters, as an attack on the 6th District itself (and certainly on those residents who had voted her into office in 2006). Combine that with the fact that Bachmann’s comments on Hardball probably were not seen as that controversial to many 6th CD voters, and one has a backlash in the making.
Alaskans responded by easily reelecting a U.S. Representative into office who was at the periphery of the state’s corruption scandal and by nearly reelecting Stevens, a convicted felon, to the Senate.
Minnesotans in the the 6th District responded in kind by holding back the Democratic wave just enough to successfully defend Bachmann’s seat, and, perhaps, their own pride.
Despite the Democratic wave that flew through the state, Tinklenberg couldn't seal the deal on election day, ending with more than $480,000 in his campaign coffers.
Could that $480,000 gotten him another 4%?
I would have liked to have seen a more aggressive campaign from Tinklenberg. It didn't feel like he really "took it to" Bachmann.
2010 will be interesting. 2006 saw US Senate, US House, MN House and Senate and Constitutional office holder elections. 2008 saw Presidential, US Senate, US House, and MN House elections. 2010 will hold no US Senate elections in MN and a interesting Gubernatorial fight.
Who will run against Bachmann in 2010? Will Tinklenberg take his remaining funds and go for it one more time? If he chose to do that, he would be the front runner.
How deep is the bench? Senator Tarryl Clark? Senator Kathy Saltzman?
Despite the numerous questions, one thing will remain certain.
Congresswoman Bachmann will continue to express herself in ways that embarrass many of her constituents and will probably make 2010 another close race.